Krabbendam Leaving Basketball Team; J.T. Thompson Coming Early

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It was good news-bad news for the Virginia Tech basketball team yesterday, as
they learned that reserve center Robert Krabbendam will not be returning for the
2007-2008 season and will instead play professional basketball in Europe. On the
bright side, 2008 recruit J.T. Thompson completed a required high school core
course and is now eligible for next season. As a result, Thompson will enroll
early at Tech, coming to Blacksburg this fall instead of waiting until the fall
of 2008.

Krabbendam announced his intentions to leave the program back in April, but after returning to the Netherlands, he had second thoughts. Head coach Seth
Greenberg flew to the Netherlands to meet with Krabbendam and his family.
Krabbendam made his final decision and decided to stay home and play for the
Amsterdam Astronauts, the team his father Bert owns.

Krabbendam would have been a redshirt junior at Virginia Tech next year. He
played in 25 games last year and averaged 1.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 7.4
minutes per game. In his Tech career, he scored 57 points and had 55 rebounds in
47 games.

Forward J.T. Thompson out of Kings Mountain, North Carolina has reportedly
been successful in a bid to enroll early at Virginia Tech. Thompson’s story is
complicated, but it breaks down thus: Thompson was originally scheduled to
graduate from high school in 2007. Like many basketball prospects, he
"reclassified" to a later year, in order to play one more year of high
school basketball and continue to develop before entering college. Thompson
reclassified as a 2008 recruit and was planning on attending Hargrave Military
Academy for a prep year before coming to Virginia Tech in the fall of 2008.

2007 recruits only need 14 core courses under NCAA guidelines in order to be
eligible. 2008 recruits will need 16 core courses. Thompson had 13 core courses
at the end of his regular high school career at Hope Christian, and he planned
on taking the other three at Hargrave.

The NCAA threw a wrench into those plans when it passed a new rule that
recruits could take no more than one of the required core courses in a
postgraduate prep year. This meant that Thompson would not have been able to
take three core courses at Hargrave and be eligible to play college basketball,
forcing him to play two years of junior college basketball first.

Since he is only one core course short of 2007 requirements, Thompson decided
to take that one course this summer at a high school in his home town of
Charlotte, in a bid to reach 14 core courses and be eligible to play this fall
at Tech under the 2007 rules. Respected basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep
reported yesterday on that Thompson passed that course and can enroll
at Tech this fall.

Thompson (6-6, 215) was rated the #68 prospect in the 2008 class by Brick
Oettinger of the ACC Area Sports Journal, so he’s a player the Hokies
desperately need, and his qualification is good news for a Tech program hit by
the loss of Krabbendam and 2007 recruit Augustus
(as reported extensively earlier).

Pending confirmation of the report by Telep, we have reclassified Thompson as
a 2007 Virginia Tech signee. We have also changed Hank
from "2007 verbal" to "2007 signee." The 2007
basketball recruiting class
now includes eight members, one of whom is
Gus Gilchrist, who will not enter this fall. (We still include Gilchrist as a
2007 signee, despite his plans to not enroll, because he signed a letter of
intent with Virginia Tech.)

Virginia Tech’s two other question marks are point guard Nigel Munson, who is
mulling a transfer, and 2007 signee Dorenzo
, who is on the fence to qualify. Tech coach Seth Greenberg does
not expect Munson to return to Virginia Tech, and Greenberg is still awaiting
word on Hudson’s status.

We will continue to monitor these situations and adjust players’ status in
our recruiting database as necessary.

Alvarez Looking Good for August Enrollment

TSL recruiting analyst Chris Horne has spoken with Hylton High School head
coach Lou Sorrentino, and Sorrentino reports that 2007 Virginia Tech signee William
has successfully completed his academic requirements for NCAA
qualification. Alvarez still needs to be cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse, and
provided that happens as expected, Alvarez will be able to enroll at Virginia
Tech in August.

Horne will have more details soon in a full update.

Virginia Tech Unveils Memorial Patch
press release:

The Virginia Tech Athletics Department announced Wednesday the official patch
that will be worn on all Hokie athletics uniforms in the upcoming academic year.

Virginia Tech’s official tribute ribbon logo remembering the victims of the
April 16, 2007 tragedy comes from a student-inspired design.

The logo consists of the well-known maroon VT athletic logo that symbolizes
the innovative and dynamic nature of Virginia Tech, over an orange ribbon that
is recognition of the lives lost on April 16 and a symbol of the victims’
prevailing Hokie spirit.

The tribute ribbon will appear on athletes’ jerseys as an inspiration and
celebration of the victims’ lives and the unforgettable mark they left on the
Virginia Tech community, the nation and the world.

Additional tributes will be announced at future dates.

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